Almost Home

So my post race season funk is lifting, time to face spring and get things done. Many important tasks, but one keeps pulling me away from the rest, finishing the house so we can move in.  Not that the garage is horrible, but it will be nice after a long hard winter to be settled in somewhere that doesn’t double as a work space. Also, if I am being honest, trying to train for Iditarod while at the same time living in a garage and building your home is hard; harder then I even expected and I totally expected it to be really hard.  We have made it this far, but I am ready for this to be over so we can move on to tackle new goals.

And we are close. So close and so motivated to be done.  Aside from finishing heartfelt thank you cards to our wonderful sponsors this is the most important thing I am working on right now.

Still a work-site, but looking like a house

Still a work-site, but looking like a house




downstairs panorama taken from mud room

downstairs panorama

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The Dew Claw Team for Iditarod 2017

And in many ways it is a family affair.

Not only is Bedbug the mother of 10 dogs who will be running this year, but the wonderful group of people who have been working so hard to support me and the dogs are more like family then sponsors!

Really I can not thank them enough. Dan and Victoria took exceptional care of the dogs in Anchorage, while Theresa & John, Walt & Janet, Sheryll & Jeanette, and Jenny, Rick & Paul took care of everything else. Our ceremonial start was as smooth as it was fun. We were joined by Lexi and Sarah to round out our crew; which I have taken to calling the “Boa Brigade”.  And if you don’t know why, then you obviously are not stalking me on Facebook. *check out the photos from Anchorage on Facebook.

Another group that I can not thank enough is my Sponsors!!!  Every year we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of companies and people support our Iditarod goals. None of this would be possible without them! So many have been with us since the start, they have truly become friends.

Want to say a special thank you to everyone at the Halliburton Anchorage office who hosted a wonderful reception for us on Friday night, it was great seeing everyone there.

Also have to give special thanks to my friends at  Dr. Carson’s All Natural Pet Supplements (special shout out to Joe Carson who is a rookie in this years race), ManMat Mushing Gear, Planet Earth Adventures LLC, Valdez Veterinary Services LLC, Nathalie Croteau &  Select Physical Therapy, Trish Mercer – Georgia Travel Experts, LLC, Intuition Liners & NEOS Overshoe.

Please join me in thanking all the wonderful Dew Claw Sponsors!!

Now having thanked the people who have come together to make this possible, lets talk about the dogs…

The 2017 Iditarod Team

As I mentioned BedBug is the proud mama to 10 of the dogs who will be traveling with me to Nome this year.  In the photo they all have a * by their name so you can see which are her kids.  Handsome Hans and A Boy Named Sue both ran with me last year. The rest are all part of the Space Cadet litter and will be going on their rookie run.

I am excited to be taking this group on the trail. It is a nice blend of youthful enthusiasm and older perspective, ideally the 2 will rub off on each other.

My goal for this race is the same as it has always been: To run the team in front of me to the best of my ability.

So there you have it my friends – the Dew Claw Team that it is my pleasure to be running.  They are all fed and resting well, and I should be doing the same. Tomorrow we start another grand adventure on the trail. Again, MUSH THANKS to all who have helped us this year!!!!!



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Good Day Sunshine

This gallery contains 41 photos.

So what did we do today at Dew Claw?  Well we got out in the sunshine and had some serious fun. And you are in luck, since I decided to grab my camera this morning and take photos throughout the … Continue reading

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Two races down, one to go…

Update on racing –

Yes folks we are in the midst of our annual drop bag madness as we prepare for the 2017 Iditarod.  Drop bags are something I have blogged about quite a bit in the past, if you missed any of those posts you can read them here. But they are hardly the only important thing we do to prepare. Shorter early season races are another important step in preparing the team for the challenge of Iditarod, and recently I took the Dew Claw dogs on back to back adventures in racing; running both the Two Rivers 200 and the Northern Lights 300.  And I have to say I was super happy with the dogs performance at both events.  Wanted to share with y’all a bit about these races.  Of course you can find lots of fun photos of the team from both events at my Facebook page.

The team heading out on the Northern Lights trail. Photo credit, Albert Marquez

The team heading out on the Northern Lights trail.

With 11 of the 22 dogs in my race team this year technically race rookies (never having competed before) my main goal for both races was to expose the teams to the chaos and excitement that is racing; camping with other teams around, passing on the trail, being examined by race vets, and seeing new challenges. We do quite a bit of camping at Dew Claw, but being the only team training in our area means we do a lot of it in peace and solitude, and rarely get to pass other teams.  And if I am being honest it doesn’t hurt me to get out there and practice my checkpoint routine, sled packing, and racing skills as well.  I divided the race crew into 2 teams, so that everyone would get a chance to race, and I could better asses the new team members before picking the final 16 that will be making the trip to Nome with me. So how did we all do? Continue reading

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Warm up runs…

OK technically “warm up” might not be the best description, since Alaska is having an epic cold snap with temperatures across the state at -40F and colder, but these pre-Iditarod races we have planned for the next 2 weekends are going to give me and the younger race dogs a chance to get our acts together and practice before the big race in March. Continue reading

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Merry ManMat and Happy Checkpoints!

Winter moon rising over Dew Claw.

Winter moon rising over Dew Claw.

A great start to 2017!!!  Our order of gear from ManMat has arrived, and our checkpoint sponsor list is starting to fill!  We are super grateful for both! The house project is moving alone nicely. And Victoria is running her own teams.  The race dogs are rocking the trail, and shaping up to be a super fun team.

SO there is lots of progress happening, and the work continues as we move forward to what we hope will be a fun adventure on the Iditarod trail this march. Continue reading

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